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      Frequently Asked Questions About Celiac Disease   04/24/2018

      This Celiac.com FAQ on celiac disease will guide you to all of the basic information you will need to know about the disease, its diagnosis, testing methods, a gluten-free diet, etc.   Subscribe to Celiac.com's FREE weekly eNewsletter   What is Celiac Disease and the Gluten-Free Diet? What are the major symptoms of celiac disease? Celiac Disease Symptoms What testing is available for celiac disease?  Celiac Disease Screening Interpretation of Celiac Disease Blood Test Results Can I be tested even though I am eating gluten free? How long must gluten be taken for the serological tests to be meaningful? The Gluten-Free Diet 101 - A Beginner's Guide to Going Gluten-Free Is celiac inherited? Should my children be tested? Ten Facts About Celiac Disease Genetic Testing Is there a link between celiac and other autoimmune diseases? Celiac Disease Research: Associated Diseases and Disorders Is there a list of gluten foods to avoid? Unsafe Gluten-Free Food List (Unsafe Ingredients) Is there a list of gluten free foods? Safe Gluten-Free Food List (Safe Ingredients) Gluten-Free Alcoholic Beverages Distilled Spirits (Grain Alcohols) and Vinegar: Are they Gluten-Free? Where does gluten hide? Additional Things to Beware of to Maintain a 100% Gluten-Free Diet What if my doctor won't listen to me? An Open Letter to Skeptical Health Care Practitioners Gluten-Free recipes: Gluten-Free Recipes
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    Celiac Disease Diagnosis Fuels Biathlete’s Battle Back to the Top


    Jefferson Adams


    • Celiac disease was holding back world class biathlete Emily Dickson. Her diagnosis and gluten-free diet are helping her get her mojo back.


    Celiac.com 04/26/2018 - Emily Dickson is one of Canada’s top athletes. As a world-class competitor in the biathlon, the event that combines cross-country skiing with shooting marksmanship, Emily Dickson was familiar with a demanding routine of training and competition. After discovering she had celiac disease, Dickson is using her diagnosis and gluten-free diet a fuel to help her get her mojo back.


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    Just a few years ago, Dickson dominated her peers nationally and won a gold medal at Canada Games for both pursuit and team relay. She also won silver in the sprint and bronze in the individual race. But just as she was set to reach her peak, Dickson found herself in an agonizing battle. She was suffering a mysterious loss of strength and endurance, which itself caused huge anxiety for Dickson. As a result of these physical and mental pressures, Dickson slipped from her perch as one of Canada's most promising young biathletes.

    Eventually, in September 2016, she was diagnosed with celiac disease. Before the diagnosis, Dickson said, she had “a lot of fatigue, I just felt tired in training all the time and I wasn't responding to my training and I wasn't recovering well and I had a few things going on, but nothing that pointed to celiac.”

    It took a little over a year for Dickson to eliminate gluten, and begin to heal her body. She still hasn’t fully recovered, which makes competing more of a challenge, but, she says improving steadily, and expects to be fully recovered in the next few months. Dickson’s diagnosis was prompted when her older sister Kate tested positive for celiac, which carries a hereditary component. "Once we figured out it was celiac and we looked at all the symptoms it all made sense,” said Dickson.

    Dickson’s own positive test proved to be both a revelation and a catalyst for her own goals as an athlete. Armed with there new diagnosis, a gluten-free diet, and a body that is steadily healing, Dickson is looking to reap the benefits of improved strength, recovery and endurance to ramp up her training and competition results.

    Keep your eyes open for the 20-year-old native of Burns Lake, British Columbia. Next season, she will be competing internationally, making a big jump to the senior ranks, and hopefully a regular next on the IBU Cup tour.

    Read more at princegeorgecitizen.com


    Image Caption: Image: CC--Guillaume Baviere
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  • Related Articles

    Jefferson Adams
    Celiac.com 09/16/2011 - Add Green Bay Packer running back James Starks to the list of professional athletes who are reaping the benefits of going gluten-free, after experiencing health issues.
    Though Starks has not released an official diagnosis, his new diet may indicate celiac disease. If so, changing his diet and avoiding gluten will likely improve his immune system, energy level, and overall health.
    Starks told reporters recently that, before his change, he had "…been feasting off of carbs thinking it was good, but my body didn't react to it the right way. That played a big part in the healing process."
    Since going on a gluten-free diet, Starks says he has put more weight on his 6'2" frame, and is now up to 225 pounds, right where his coaches want him. He also says he feels stronger.
    Starks is one of many pro athletes who have recently gone gluten-free. Others include: Kyle Korver of the Chicago Bulls, who credits a gluten-free diet for an improved post-game recovery; US swimmer Dana Vollmer, who went gluten-free before winning her first gold medal at the 2011 World Swimming Championships, and after years of battling severe stomach aches and fatigue; and UFC fighter Dennis Hallman, who celiac disease, who has openly discussed his condition and following adjustments to his training regimen.
    Like everyone who has made the switch away from gluten, Starks has had to make his own personal sacrifices, avoiding favorites like fried chicken and pepperoni pizza. However, those sacrifices are paying off with a renewed energy and vitality leaving Starks hungry for another Superbowl run.


    Gryphon Myers
    Celiac.com 07/31/2012 - Dana Vollmer could be walking (or swimming) proof of the benefits a gluten-free diet can afford athletes. In the second day of London's 2012 Olympics, Vollmer, who suffers from gluten sensitivity and an egg allergy, took the gold medal in the Women's 100-meter butterfly final, breaking her own personal record, as well as the world record.
    What is interesting about Vollmer and her success is that she seems to have reached her athletic peak while on a gluten-free diet. In the days before her diagnosis, she did what many Olympic athletes do before competitions: load up on carbohydrates. With pasta and eggs out of the equation, that becomes harder to accomplish, so some might think that she would be at a disadvantage.
    Evidently, she is not missing the pasta or the eggs though. On Sunday, she managed to break the 6-minute mark, clocking in at 55.98 seconds to break the world record and set a milestone for athletes and celiacs everywhere.
    So what does Vollmer fuel her gold-winning machinery with? According to her Twitter feed, the hard-earned gold was won on rice, almonds, sunflower seeds, crushed peanuts, peanut butter, milk and bananas. In an interview with KidsHealth, she said she also eats a great deal of quinoa, lean meat, vegetables and brown rice.
    It may not be the carb-heavy diet that Olympic athletes have been trained on, but clearly Vollmer is getting the nutrition and protein she needs to take home medals. With this precedent set, perhaps more Olympic athletes will start adopting the gluten-free diet.
    Sources:
    http://www.nbcsandiego.com/news/health/Gluten-Free-Dana-Vollmer-164310186.html http://twitter.com/danavollmer http://kidshealth.org/kid/health_problems/allergiesimmune/vollmer.html

    Jefferson Adams
    Celiac.com 11/25/2013 - More and more professional athletes are claiming to reap benefits from adopting a gluten-free diet. What’s the science behind these claims?
    Writing for the Washington Post, Anna Medaris Miller has a very solid article in which she investigates the science behind the claims by many professional athletes that they has reaped tremendous physical benefits by adopting a gluten-free diet.
    Miller cites the growing popularity of gluten-free foods in general, as well as the move away from carbs by many professional athletes. She notes that New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees, the Garmin cycling team and top tennis players Andy Roddick and Novak Djokovic have all been vocal about the benefits of gluten-free diets.
    Still, a gluten-free diet won’t turn you into an Olympic athlete, Fasano says. “But when you go to the high-level performing athletes in which a fraction of a second can mean the difference between winning and losing an event, or be[ing] able to complete a marathon or not within a certain time frame, that can be the small edge that helps you.”
    Some researchers theorize that eliminating gluten allows the body to better carry oxygen to the muscles, which may boost athletic performance.
    There are other theories as to why some athletes report improved athletic performance after eliminating gluten.
    So far, performance claims attributed to a gluten-free diet are purely anecdotal.
    In fact, Miller offers her own experience:
    My digestion is gentler, my sleep is sounder, my energy level is more even. These benefits also seem to have led to improved athletic performance. Since going off gluten, I placed in a race for the first time in my adult life, won a small community biathlon and achieved a personal best in a 5K run. Most important, I felt good while doing it.
    However, there is just no research that documents clear before-and-after changes among athletes who have adopted a gluten-free diet.
    Felicia Stoler, a nutritionist and exercise physiologist, who is president of the Greater New York chapter of the American College of Sports Medicine, says she has yet to see evidence heralding a gluten-free diet for endurance athletes. Until such evidence emerges, says Stoler, many people wise to remain skeptical.
    “If you have nothing wrong with you as far as absorptive disorders, then there’s no benefit by cutting out gluten,” she says. “You have to look at your overall caloric intake needs as an athlete.”
    Source:
    Article from The Washington Post by Anna Medaris Miller, an associate editor of Monitor on Psychology magazine and a health columnist at TheDailyMuse.com.

    Jefferson Adams
    Celiac.com 06/26/2015 - The vast majority of people who follow a gluten-free diet do not have celiac disease or gluten intolerance. Many people who follow a gluten-free diet do so because of perceived health benefits. This includes a number of athletes who feel that the diet improves their energy levels, performance and recovery time.
    In fact, the adoption of gluten-free diets by non-celiac athletes has risen sharply in recent years due to perceived ergogenic and health benefits. New research however, casts doubt on those ideas.
    The research was conducted by a team that set out to evaluate the effects of a gluten-free diet (GFD) on exercise performance, gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms, perceived well-being, intestinal damage, and inflammatory responses in non-celiac athletes. The research team included Dana Lis, Trent Stellingwerff, Cecilia M. Kitic, Kiran D.K., and James Fell.
    For their study, they looked at thirteen competitive endurance cyclists, 8 male, 5 female, with no positive clinical screening for celiac disease or history of irritable bowel syndrome.
    These cyclists followed a seven day gluten-containing diet (GCD) or GFD separated by a 10-day washout in a controlled randomized double-blind, cross-over study. Cyclists ate a GFD alongside either gluten-containing or gluten-free food bars, while the team controlled habitual training and nutrition behaviors. Total gluten intake was 16g wheat gluten per day.
    During each diet, cyclists completed the Daily Analysis of Life Demand for Athletes (DALDA) and GI questionnaires, both before and after exercise and daily.
    On day seven cyclists completed a sub-maximal steady-state (SS) 45 minute ride at 70% peak power followed by a 15 minute time-trial (TT).
    The researchers took blood samples before exercise, post SS and post TT to determine intestinal fatty acid binding protein (IFABP) and inflammatory markers (cytokine responses: IL-1[beta], IL-6, IL-8, IL-10, IL-15, TNF-[alpha]). They employed mixed effect logistic regression to analyze data.
    The results showed that TT performance was basically the same (p=0.37) between the GCD (245.4+/-53.4kJ) and GFD (245.0+/-54.6kJ).
    GI symptoms during exercise, daily, and DALDA responses were also similar for each diet (p>0.11). There were no significant differences in IFABP (p=0.69) or cytokine (P>0.13) responses.
    These results show that a short-term GFD has no impact on performance, GI symptoms, well-being, or upon a select indicator of intestinal injury or inflammatory markers in non-celiac endurance athletes.
    So, basically, if you're an athlete who does not have celiac disease, then a gluten-free diet is not going to provide any performance or recovery benefits to you.
    Source:
    Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise: Post Acceptance: May 12, 2015. doi: 10.1249/MSS.0000000000000699

  • Recent Articles

    Jefferson Adams
    Celiac.com 05/24/2018 - England is facing some hard questions about gluten-free food prescriptions for people with celiac disease. Under England’s National Health Plan, people with celiac disease are eligible for gluten-free foods as part of their medical treatment. 
    The latest research shows that prescription practice for gluten-free foods varies widely, and often seems independent of medical factors. This news has put those prescribing practices under scrutiny.
    "Gluten free prescribing is clearly in a state of flux at the moment, with an apparent rapid reduction in prescribing nationally," say the researchers. Their data analysis revealed that after a steady increase in prescriptions between 1998 and 2010, the prescription rate for gluten free foods has both fallen, and become more variable, in recent years. Not only is there tremendous variation in gluten free prescribing, say the researchers, “this variation appears to exist largely without good reason…”
    Worse still, the research showed that those living in the most deprived areas of the country are the least likely to be prescribed gluten-free products, possibly due to a lower rate of celiac diagnosis in disadvantaged groups, say the researchers.
    But following a public consultation, the government decided earlier this year to restrict the range of gluten free products rather than banning them outright. As research data pile up and gluten-free food becomes cheaper and more ubiquitous, look for more changes to England’s gluten-free prescription program to follow. 
    Read more about this research in the online journal BMJ Open.

    Jefferson Adams
    Celiac.com 05/25/2018 - People with celiac disease need to follow a lifelong gluten-free diet. However, once their guts have healed, they can still be sensitive to gluten. Sometimes even more sensitive than they were before they went gluten-free. Accidental ingestion of gluten can trigger symptoms in celiac patients, such as pain in the gut and diarrhea, and can also cause intestinal damage. 
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    Read more at ScienceDaily.com

    Jefferson Adams
    Celiac.com 05/23/2018 - Yes, we at Celiac.com realize that rye bread is not gluten-free, and is not suitable for consumption by people with celiac disease!  That is also true of rye bread that is low in FODMAPs.
    FODMAPs are Fermentable Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides and Polyols. FODMAPS are molecules found in food, and can be poorly absorbed by some people. Poor FODMAP absorption can cause celiac-like symptoms in some people. FODMAPs have recently emerged as possible culprits in both celiac disease and in irritable bowel syndrome.
    In an effort to determine what, if any, irritable bowel symptoms may triggered by FODMAPs, a team of researchers recently set out to compare the effects of regular vs low-FODMAP rye bread on irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) symptoms and to study gastrointestinal conditions with SmartPill.
    A team of researchers compared low-FODMAP rye bread with regular rye bread in patients irritable bowel syndrome, to see if rye bread low FODMAPs would reduce hydrogen excretion, lower intraluminal pressure, raise colonic pH, improve transit times, and reduce IBS symptoms compared to regular rye bread. The research team included Laura Pirkola, Reijo Laatikainen, Jussi Loponen, Sanna-Maria Hongisto, Markku Hillilä, Anu Nuora, Baoru Yang, Kaisa M Linderborg, and Riitta Freese.
    They are variously affiliated with the Clinic of Gastroenterology; the Division of Nutrition, Department of Food and Environmental Sciences; the Medical Faculty, Pharmacology, Medical Nutrition Physiology, University of Helsinki in Helsinki, Finland; the University of Helsinki and Helsinki University, Hospital Jorvi in Espoo, Finland; with the Food Chemistry and Food Development, Department of Biochemistry, University of Turku inTurku, Finland; and with the Fazer Group/ Fazer Bakeries Ltd in Vantaa, Finland.
    The team wanted to see if rye bread low in FODMAPs would cause reduced hydrogen excretion, lower intraluminal pressure, higher colonic pH, improved transit times, and fewer IBS symptoms than regular rye bread. 
    To do so, they conducted a randomized, double-blind, controlled cross-over meal study. For that study, seven female IBS patients ate study breads at three consecutive meals during one day. The diet was similar for both study periods except for the FODMAP content of the bread consumed during the study day.
    The team used SmartPill, an indigestible motility capsule, to measure intraluminal pH, transit time, and pressure. Their data showed that low-FODMAP rye bread reduced colonic fermentation compared with regular rye bread. They found no differences in pH, pressure, or transit times between the breads. They also found no difference between the two in terms of conditions in the gastrointestinal tract.
    They did note that the gastric residence of SmartPill was slower than expected. SmartPill left the stomach in less than 5 h only once in 14 measurements, and therefore did not follow on par with the rye bread bolus.
    There's been a great deal of interest in FODMAPs and their potential connection to celiac disease and gluten-intolerance. Stay tuned for more information on the role of FODMAPs in celiac disease and/or irritable bowel syndrome.
    Source:
    World J Gastroenterol. 2018 Mar 21; 24(11): 1259–1268.doi:  10.3748/wjg.v24.i11.1259

    Jefferson Adams
    Celiac.com 05/22/2018 - Proteins are the building blocks of life. If scientists can figure out how to create and grow new proteins, they can create new treatments and cures to a multitude of medical, biological and even environmental conditions.
    For a couple of decades now, scientists have been searching for a biological Rosetta stone that would allow them to engineer proteins with precision, but the problem has remained dauntingly complex.  Researchers had a pretty good understanding of the very simple way that the linear chemical code carried by strands of DNA translates into strings of amino acids in proteins. 
    But, one of the main problems in protein engineering has to do with the way proteins fold into their various three-dimensional structures. Until recently, no one has been able to decipher the rules that will predict how proteins fold into those three-dimensional structures.  So even if researchers were somehow able to design a protein with the right shape for a given job, they wouldn’t know how to go about making it from protein’s building blocks, the amino acids.
    But now, scientists like William DeGrado, a chemist at the University of California, San Francisco, and David Baker, director for the Institute for Protein Design at the University of Washington, say that designing proteins will become at least as important as manipulating DNA has been in the past couple of decades.
    After making slow, but incremental progress over the years, scientists have improved their ability to decipher the complex language of protein shapes. Among other things, they’ve gained a better understanding of how then the laws of physics cause the proteins to snap into folded origami-like structures based on the ways amino acids are attracted or repelled by others many places down the chain.
    It is this new ability to decipher the complex language of protein shapes that has fueled their progress. UCSF’s DeGrado is using these new breakthroughs to search for new medicines that will be more stable, both on the shelf and in the body. He is also looking for new ways to treat Alzheimer’s disease and similar neurological conditions, which result when brain proteins fold incorrectly and create toxic deposits.
    Meanwhile, Baker’s is working on a single vaccine that would protect against all strains of the influenza virus, along with a method for breaking down the gluten proteins in wheat, which could help to generate new treatments for people with celiac disease. 
    With new computing power, look for progress on the understanding, design, and construction of brain proteins. As understanding, design and construction improve, look for brain proteins to play a major role in disease research and treatment. This is all great news for people looking to improve our understanding and treatment of celiac disease.
    Source:
    Bloomberg.com

    Jefferson Adams
    Celiac.com 05/21/2018 - Just a year ago, Starbucks debuted their Canadian bacon, egg and cheddar cheese gluten-free sandwich. During that year, the company basked in praise from customers with celiac disease and gluten-sensitivity for their commitment to delivering a safe gluten-free alternative to it’s standard breakfast offerings.
    But that commitment came to an ignoble end recently as Starbucks admitted that their gluten-free sandwich was plagued by  “low sales,” and was simply not sustainable from a company perspective. The sandwich may not have sold well, but it was much-loved by those who came to rely on it.
    With the end of that sandwich came the complaints. Customers on social media were anything but quiet, as seen in numerous posts, tweets and comments pointing out the callous and tone-deaf nature of the announcement which took place in the middle of national Celiac Disease Awareness Month. More than a few posts threatened to dump Starbucks altogether.
    A few of the choice tweets include the following:  
    “If I’m going to get coffee and can’t eat anything might as well be DD. #celiac so your eggbites won’t work for me,” tweeted @NotPerryMason. “They’re discontinuing my @Starbucks gluten-free sandwich which is super sad, but will save me money because I won’t have a reason to go to Starbucks and drop $50 a week,” tweeted @nwillard229. Starbucks is not giving up on gluten-free entirely, though. The company will still offer several items for customers who prefer gluten-free foods, including Sous Vide Egg Bites, a Marshmallow Dream Bar and Siggi’s yogurt.
    Stay tuned to learn more about Starbucks gluten-free foods going forward.